Australia

Haughton v. Minister for Department of Planning & Others (Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, 2011)

Jurisdiction: Australia


Side A: Ned Haughton (Individual)


Side B: Minister for Planning (Government)


Core objectives: Challenge to government approval of two coal-fired power plants


Summary
Ned Haughton challenged the approval granted by the Minister for Planning for two coal-fired power plants. The challenge was on the grounds that: (1) the Minister erroneously approved the plants on the basis that they were critical infrastructure projects; (2) the Minister had not fully considered the principles of ecologically sustainable development; and (3) the Minister had not considered the impact of the projects on climate change, which was required of him based on his duty to protect the public interest. While the Court upheld the standing of Mr. Haughton to bring the case, it dismissed his substantive claims on the basis that the decisions had been made within the power given to the Minister under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). Justice Craig emphasized that he could not review the merits of the Minister's decision, and could only consider its legality. He concluded that the statute allowed the Minister to weigh competing considerations as he saw fit when determining what was in the public interest.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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